Short Track Roundup (7/30/97)
30 July 1997Mobile, AL - Hello Short Track fans and welcome to another look back at the past week's action around the nation. As July turns into August the mid-season is past and the points races in may series are approaching the final laps. Now is the time that those who will win championships must make their moves. So lets take a look and see who made the moves this week.
Starting with the asphalt tracks, the American Speed Association went to LaCrosse, WI and following a late incident involving leader Rick Beebe and a lapped car, it was Mike Miller who was in the right place at the right time to capture the win. Scott Hansen made a move during the scramble to take second, while rookie Tim Sauter was third. Kevin Cywinski still maintains the points lead and finished in the top ten.
The NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro cars went to the road course at Topeka, KS and Steven Christian proved he was the best at turning right and left. Jeff Fultz waltzed home second and Carl Long was third.
The NASCAR Busch North cars raced Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut and Andy Santerre beat Rick Fuller and Ted Christopher to the finish. *** Out west the Winston West cars went to Pikes Peak International and the best finish for a tour regular was Butch Gilliland coming home third behind a couple of Winston Cup drivers by the name of Mike Wallace and Ken Schrader.
The NASCAR Goodies Dash went to Charlotte Motor Speedway and Christian Elder came home the winner with Mike Swaim Jr second and Will Hobgood in the third spot.
Michigan International may not be a short track, but ARCA purports to be a short track series. The two got together and Mark Thompson was the victor over Mark Gibson and Tim Steele.
The ARTGO series went to Gateway International and ASA competitor Mike Garvey dropped by to take the win over Al Schill Jr. and Jason Shuler.
The Hooters Cup Late Models went to Peach State Speedway in Georgia and Bobby Gill emerged as the winner with Freddy Query maintaining his point lead by taking second and Dick Anderson came home third. After he lost the Terminal Trucking ride before the start of the season, Query had little money, but has made the wins and top fives pay his way to enough races to stand a good chance of winning the championship.
In ACDelco/ Murray's Iceman Series action at Toledo, Dave Kuhlman made a last lap pass of Kenny Phillips to steal the win with Glen Gault taking third.
The Florida Pro Series went to the tight 1/4 mile Sunshine Speedway near Tampa and points leader Dave Pletcher patiently waited until the last 20 laps before taking the lead and the win. Sammy Coghill was second and Wayne Jefferson third.
Over on the "pitch it sideways" side of the racing scene, the big race was the Hav- A-Tampa event at Tazewell, TN where Wendell Wallace picked up a cool $15,850 for taking the win in a wild race that saw the lead swapped back and forth on a number of occasions and cars running three wide through the corners. Rex Richey edged out Scott Bloomquist for second in a six way battle for the top spots.
The STARS Late Models were in Ohio for two races, and Todd Andrews opened the weekend with a win at Ace High Speedway over points leader Steve Francis and Davey Johnson. The next night at Buckeye Raceway, Rick Eckert broke a nearly two year winless streak as he led Bart Hartman and Tim Hitt to the finish. Both races went 50 laps, but Andrews got $10,000 for his effort while Eckert got the miserly sum of just $6,000 for his win.
The SUPR Late Models went to Baton Rouge Raceway, LA and Ronnie Poche proved that cajun cooking was just what the doctor ordered as he led all 40 laps to take the win over Marlon Wild and Eddie Taylor.
The Sprints and midgets were active this weekend with the Winged cars making the news first when World of Outlaws owner Jim Wahlie announced that Danny Lasoski was leaving the team and that Craig Dolansky would take over the ride next week in New York. While the Wahlie team sat out the week, the rest of the "Outlaws" were at Knoxville, IA where Mark Kinser passed Steve on the last lap to take the win. Sammy Swindell finished in third. The win was the ninth in the last eleven starts for Mark at Knoxville and gave him sixteen wins for the season. Can you say "Dominating"!
The Frigidaire All Stars were at Port Royal, PA where they ran two features in one night due to rain wreaking its havoc on the schedule. Lance Dewease took the win in the make up race followed by Keith Kauffman and Kenny Jacobs. In the regular race it was Billy Pauch who managed to defeat the field and again it was Kauffman second and this time third went to Jeff Shepherd. Dewease likes this Port Royal track so much he stuck around to take another win the next night in regular track action. The rest of the series moved on to Buckeye Raceway in Ohio, and Dean Jacobs took the checkered flag. Want to guess who was second? Yes, Kauffman again! Young lion Tyler Walker took third in this one.
The NARC Budweiser Sprints were in Chico, CA for two races and it was Brent Kaeding taking an expected win in the first race as he beat Jason Lund and Bobby McMahan. The next night the winner was completely unexpected as little known and underfunded racer Ron McBride was the winner over Kevin Plyant and Bud Kaeding.
Down in SoCal at Perris Speedway the SCRA Midgets went to work and once again the name on the winner's check was Rip Williams. Ron Shuman and Jay Drake rounded out the top three.
NAMARS midgets had two races over the weekend, opening up at South Bend where Jim Hettinger scored the win over Robbie Parish and Ronnie Johncox. The next night at Kalamazoo, MI it was Hettinger again as he picked up his fourth straight pavement win. Andy Michner was second and Clay Klepper were the next across the line.
ARDC Midgets had Flemington, NJ on their minds, and the winner was Phil DiMario over Robert Boetticher and Bryan Kobylarz.
In the Indiana Sprint week series, J. J. Yeley opened with a win and went on to capture the week long championship. Other winners along the four race "mini series" were Jack Hewitt, Bill Rose and Brad Fox.
The Empire Super Sprints ventured into Canada and the Autodrome Edelweiss in Quebec. New Yorker Mike Woodring liked it fine as he took the win with Scott Holcomb and Joe Timerson the next two at the line. Then the series moved to Frogtown International in New York and Craig Keel was the winner, Dan Kaszubinski was second and Mike Woodring third.
Rounding out our look back at the week's activities, here are some of the "Saturday Night Heroes" of the NASCAR Winston Racing Series. Taking the win at Five Flags Speedway, FL was Ronnie Couture in a brand new car, while David Browning took the win at JAX Raceways, FL. At LaCrosse, WI it was another of the Sauter gang, Johnny who got the win, Mark McFarland won at Old Dominion, VA, Steve Loftin at Caraway, NC, Jeff Dunmyer at Motordrome, PA, Kevin Grubb at Concord, NC and Joe Buford got the win in Nashville, TN. Dexter Canipe made it seven wins at Tri County, NC, Phil Warren got his fifth at Southampton, VA and Bugs Hairfield made it seven wins this season at Southside, VA. Bubba Chinners cut down a tire, then came from the rear to record a win at Summerville, SC, Canipe got another win at Greenville-Pickens, SC and Scottie Ferrell got his first win at Kingsport, TN.
That's about all the action for this week, but next weekend means more racing at your local short track. Set the VCR to record the TV races and head out to the local track and see the best racing in the nation. Your local track puts on a great show with a number of differing divisions each and every week. Have a Ball, Ya'll!
John Kaiser -- The Autochannel